Epidemic of cryptojacking can be traced to escaped NSA superweapon

The epidemic of cryptojacking malware isn't merely an outgrowth of the incentive created by the cryptocurrency bubble -- that's just the motive, and the all-important the means and opportunity were provided by the same leaked NSA superweapon that powered last year's Wannacry ransomware epidemic. Read the rest

Excellent explainer: how consensus algorithms (including Bitcoin/blockchain) work

The creation of "public ledgers" -- like blockchain, popularized by Bitcoin -- requires "consensus algorithms" that allow mutually untrusted, uncoordinated parties to agree on a world-readable, distributed list of things (domain names, transactions, title deeds, etc), something that cryptography makes possible in a variety of ways. Read the rest

Salon gives readers a choice: view ads or mine cryptocurrency

Salon announced this week that visitors who insist on using an ad blocker must either disable it or mine cryptocurrency for the site.

For our beta program, we’ll start by applying your processing power to mine cryptocurrencies to recoup lost ad revenue when you use an ad blocker. We plan to further use any learnings from this to help support the evolution and growth of blockchain technology, digital currencies and other ways to better service the value exchange between content and user contribution.

Your unused processing power are the resources you already have but are not actively using to it’s full potential at the time of browsing salon.com. Mining uses more of your resources which means your computer works a bit harder and uses more electricity than if you were just passively browsing the site with ads.

Who will be the first to sue Salon, claiming the mining software melted their laptop? Read the rest

Cryptocurrency-mining malware spotted on more than 4200 sites including UK, US, and Australian government sites

Security researcher Scott Helme has spotted a third-party exploit that injects a script that mines cryptocurrency on over 4,200 sites, from the UK NHS to the US Courts' official site to the sites of other esteemed security researchers. Read the rest

The latest IoT botnet displays evidence of a halfway clever botmaster

The amazing and frightening thing about the Mirai botnet's reign of terror wasn't that it was a super-sophisticated cyberweapon: rather, it was a clumsy, amateurish fuggly hack that turned out to have been produced by a couple of dum-dums with a Minecraft racket. Read the rest

Bitcoin's high valuation has ruined it as a medium of exchange

Technological limitations in the design of the Bitcoin system means that the network only processes about seven transactions per second, unless you pay someone with a lot of compute-power to log your transaction, currently at the rate of about $20/transaction. Read the rest

SEC to scrutinize public companies getting overnight bitcoin makeovers to cash in on cryptocurrency hype

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today pledged to aggressively scrutinize publicly-traded companies that suddenly change their name or their business model to try to profit from the nutty hype surrounding cryptocurrency. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton threw this wet towel on the blockchain bubble Monday.

Read the rest

A Japanese promoter has launched Kasotsuka Shojo, a cryptocurrency-themed all-woman "cryptopop" group

The latest launch from Japanese entertainment corporation Cinderella Academy is Kasotsuka Shojo "Virtual Currency Girls," who are billed as the first cryptopop band. Read the rest

"Financial dominatrix" orders the rich men who submit to her to operate a "crypto slave farm" to mine bitcoin

Theodora is a "financial dominatrix," a woman who sexually gratifies rich and powerful men by humiliating them with orders to give her money; in the age of cryptocurrency, she says her clients are now operating a "crypto slave farm" of cryptocurrency mining rigs built to her specification, which mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for her. Read the rest

Ugly cryptocurrency sweaters

It seems whatever you're into, there's an ugly holiday sweater for it. Now, with the rise in interest in cryptocurrency, there's a collection of machine-knit "ugly crypto sweaters" available. For $59.99 apiece, you can show your (ironic?) pride for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, or Neo this winter. See them all over at Hodlmoon.

(Ufunk.net)

Previously: These ugly Christmas sweaters have special booze-bottle-holding pockets Read the rest

How much energy does Bitcoin consume, and can it improve?

After Digiconomist's analysis of the total energy consumption of the Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain went viral, Timothy Lee at Ars Technica provides a much-needed reality check in the form of some technical detail and nuance about what that energy consumption means, and where it might go. Read the rest

Bitcoin loses fifth of its value in 24 hours

It was a hell of a ride. Peaking at nearly $11,400 earlier this week, Bitcoin's value dropped by a fifth Thursday, deflating the cryptocurrency's explosive growth since last year. Reuters:

One market-watcher attributed the fall to outages in bitcoin exchanges and the heavy price surge of recent times.

“Naturally a few of the early bitcoin traders are taking some profits off the table,” said Charles Hayter, founder of CryptoCompare.com.

“Volatility is in the market at the moment and that means both positive and negative moves.”

The latest fall has tempered an astronomical rise for the cryptocurrency in recent months - bitcoin was up almost 1,100 percent year-to-date on Wednesday. As of 1500 GMT on Thursday, it was still up around 880 percent.

Read the rest

The crooked Secret Service agent who stole Silk Road bitcoins did it again after pleading guilty

Shaun Bridges is the disgraced ex-Secret Service Agent who pleaded guilty to stealing bitcoin from online drug dealers while he was investigating the Silk Road; he's serving a 71-month sentence and has just had two years added to it after he pleaded guilty to stealing more bitcoin after his guilty plea, while he was out on bail Read the rest

Dutch man risks everything hoping to hit big with bitcoin

Didi Taihuttu expects the price of bitcoin will soar, so much so that he’s selling his house, car, and other valuables to obtain even more of it.

Now, 39-year-old Taihuttu is living at a campsite with his wife and three children, waiting till 2020 for his investment in cryptocurrency to pay off, according to Business Insider.

The cramped living space may be a bit different from the four-bedroom home the Taihuttu family, from the Netherlands, was used to, but since the house was sold under reservation partly for bitcoin in August, the value of a single bitcoin has gone from $3,700 to $4,800.

“At first my wife doubted the decision, wondering if it was the right decision for our kids — as did my brother and sister... but they are now supportive of the plan," Taihuttu told Newsweek.

Via Business Insider:

Taihuttu thinks digital coins such as bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind it are transforming the role of money and banks in society.

With blockchain, no third party is required to approve a payment — a role currently performed by banks — and a network of computers keeps a record of all transactions.

“The Internet was a revolution for information. I think that blockchain and cryptocurrency are revolutionising the monetary system,” says Taihuttu. “In five years’ time, everyone will say: ‘We could have seen it coming.’ I am responding to this change now.”

Image: BTC Keychain Read the rest

Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah launching cryptocurrency

Dennis Coles, aka Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan, has co-founded a cryptocurrency company called Cream Capital. The name comes from the Wu-Tang Clan's 1993 jam C.R.E.A.M. ("Cash Rules Everything Around Me.") Apparently, the company now holds the trademark on the phrase "Crypto Rules Everything Around Me." Cream Capital is planning an initial coin offering on November 11 to raise $30 million. Apparently those tokens can be traded for Ether on the Etherium blockchain.

"Ghostface Killah is a longtime business partner of ours," Cream Capital co-founder/CEO Brett Wesbrook told Pigeons & Planes. "I personally connected with him during a Reddit AMA on /r/hiphopheads last year when he was seeking tech-inclined people to work with in future technology focused projects. Dennis is a very forward thinking person and has a keen interest in emerging technologies. It's hard to ignore blockchain tech today even when you're a busy, touring hip hop artist.

"He doesn't have any technical background with cryptocurrencies. However, remember that Wu-Tang is for the children. He is very focused on what the youth and millennials are interested in. He is a very solid businessman and has surrounded himself with bright individuals with a hunger for bring new, groundbreaking technologies to market...

"His work capacity will be laying out a framework for which cryptocurrencies are more familiar to everyday people." Read the rest

Chinese government sources tell the WSJ they're about to shut down all domestic Bitcoin exchanges

China's "economic miracle" has been accompanied by mass-scale looting, creating a class of super-rich, corrupt millionaires and billionaires to rival the US or Russia; these 1%ers know that their wealth is subject to the whims of the Politburo, which is why they are so anxious to acquire second passports, and to exfiltrate their cash through baroque schemes, anodyne scams, and runaway property speculation. Read the rest

Burger King launches cryptocurrency in Russia

Burger King launched its own cryptocurrency, WhopperCoin, in Russian markets. Managed by blockchain startup Waves, WhopperCoin is essentially a blockchain-based loyalty rewards program. A customer receives one WhopperCoin for each ruble they spend on whoppers. A free Whopper can be had for 1,700 WhopperCoins. From the BBC News:

Ivan Shestov, head of external communications at Burger King Russia, said the scheme turned the Whopper into an "investment vehicle"...

"I don't imagine McDonald's will be quick to allow someone to pay for a Big Mac with their whoppercoins," (said Dr Garrick Hileman, research fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance). "Burger King's competitors are more likely to accept an independent crypto-currency like bitcoin."

Read the rest

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